It's a rumor that has been circulating for a few days, and that seems to be gaining more and more momentum on social networks. Vinted, the online platform for the sale of second-hand clothes, is accused of harboring "a vast paedophile network". Some Internet users have indeed noticed strange ads on the online resale site for some time.
Cheap children's clothes are reportedly offered at exorbitant prices, sometimes more than 15,000 euros, with certain comments: "6 years old, very good condition", "worn a few times" or "never used". All these details are said to be used as code to cover up "child sex trafficking".
Birth of a conspiracy around the supposed trafficking of children on the e-commerce site Vinted. https://t.co/8tX5yekYvp pic.twitter.com/uIIflWRaZK
— Tristan Mendès France (@tristanmf) November 17, 2023
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"Our French QAnons are reviving a Wayfairgate-style delirium of 2020"
Several screenshots have been circulated on Twitter (X), suggesting that these ads of items sold at far too high a price are in fact hiding the existence of a paedophile network, which would therefore use the platform to "resell children". According to them, the size of the clothing thus indicates the age of the victim.
This rumor, which is obviously not based on any evidence, has its origins in conspiracy circles, as was the case in 2020 with the American commerce site Wayfair (specialized in furniture), which was also accused of harboring a paedophile network. "Our French QAnons are reviving a 2020 Wayfairgate-style delirium. The e-commerce site Wayfair was accused of selling children to pedos. They are putting the dish back today with the Vinted website," confirms Tristan Mendès-France, associate lecturer at Paris Diderot University, a specialist in digital cultures and online extremism.
This is not the first time that such rumours have targeted a brand in this way. Before the furniture website Waifair, a Washington pizzeria had already been at the heart of a conspiracy theory involving alleged child sex trafficking in 2016, in the so-called "pizzagate" case.
- Child Abuse
- Conspiracy theory
- Social media
- By the Web